More good news for the economy: America's productivity is up and jobs are being added to the economy, according to the first-quarter numbers released late last week by the Labor Department.
According to a report released Thursday, productivity, represented as the amount an employee produces for every hour on the job, showed a first-quarter increase of 3.5%, up from 2.5% in the previous quarter.
Another report from the department showed that America's jobless claims were at their lowest mark since October 2000, a strong indicator that the economy may be rebounding. With jobless claims dropping, the economy also added 288,000 jobs last month, marking the second consecutive month with 250,000 or more jobs being added.
"The economy is showing across the board gains, including job growth," U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao said. "This is the eighth straight month of job gains with over 1.1 million jobs created since last August."
Even manufacturing is in on the trend. This historically sluggish sector added 21,000 jobs last month, capping its third month of growth in a row. Prior to this three-month streak, manufacturing had shed jobs for 42 straight months, dating back to July of 2000.
With interest rates at a 46-year low, the economy growing at a rate of 4.2% and with eight consecutive months of job growth in the books, the economy is showing solid signs of sustained growth, which might indicate a permanent turnaround.